The Q&A Archives: trees

Question: I need a series of trees that will block a two story home behind mine. It will have to grow to at least 25 feet high. The area where they would be planted is narrow (10 feet wide) because of a fence and plant box up to about 4 foot which is where the fence stops. Then the space is about 20 feet wide. If I can trim off the lower brances then I could grow something upto about 20 feet wide. I live in Nashville TN. I was considering one of the following Australian pine, Majestic Beauty Japanese Black pine, Moerheim blue spruce, Cryptomeria, White Pine, or least favorite Green Giant Arborvitae. Which one would you suggest? I don't know about the availability and expense of the ones I have selected.

Answer: I'm afraid your least favorite would be the best choice for the site you describe. What's nice about arborvitae is that they stay narrow so you won't need to prune them to make them fit. They are terrific screening shrubs and moderately fast growers. Cryptomeria is fast growing but I'm not sure how it will look if you need to shear off the lower branches. It's just as dense as arborvitae, so it will make a good hedging screen. So, of those that you've chosen, Cryptomeria or arborvitae are the best choices. Since both are reasonably fast growing, you can save some money by purchasing smaller plants. However, if quick screening is your goal, purchase the largest sizes you can afford.

Best wishes with your new screening hedge!

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